Google removes more than two dozen malicious photo-stealing apps from Play Store

The apps have combined download of over 4 Million.

Malicious photo apps removed from play store
Credit: Wccftech

Apple’s app store has been the epitome of iron gate for apps, while Google is still letting malicious apps slip into its Play Store.

A recent report from cybersecurity firm TrendMircro discovered 29 camera and beauty photo apps on Play Store that were scamming and phishing users. The report found malicious codes in the apps design that showed full screen ads and directed users to phishing websites to steal their information.

The apps used the ever believable ‘won a contest’ formula to phish users. Once installed, the apps show full screen ads or pornographic content and some would redirect users to phishing websites. In some apps it was also discovered that they would steal photos from users and send them to external servers.

It wouldn’t be an issue had Google removed them before they were installed by a large population, but the malicious apps have combined installations of over 4 million. The blog post from TrendMicro states that most of the downloads originated in Asia, particularly from India, where beautification apps are widely popular.

You couldn’t yank them and drop them in the bin to delete them as the apps would be hidden from your standard app list, which will make you forget that the apps have been installed on your phone. The apps also used measures to go undetected from Play Store including packers and remote servers that were “encoded with BASE64 twice in the code.”

All in all it’s always the best way to look into app reviews if any other users have found any suspicious activities before installing them and I’m sure most of the users do that.

You can see the full list of the malicious apps in this link.

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